Uses for Aloe Vera
Uses for Aloe Vera
There are many effective uses for aloe vera, especially in the areas of medicinal health, nutrition, skin and hair care.
Fresh aloe vera has been used for both medicinal and cosmetic purposes since the time of the Ancient Egyptians. Used externally for skin and hair care throughout the world for centuries, even Cleopatra was aware of its rejuvenating qualities and is known to have used aloe vera gel as part of her beauty regime.
We know that when taken internally, especially in the form of aloe vera fruit smoothies, aloe vera gel helps promote cell renewal and the manufacture of collagen. But even when applied directly to the skin aloe vera has a great anti-aging effect. When applied externally aloe vera gel not only soothes and moisturizes the skin but as nutrients are absorbed directly by the skin they deliver vital active ingredients to the skin cells. The subsequent cell growth and regeneration has an amazing rejuvenating effect.
Try it yourself
Now that I have aloe vera in the house on a regular basis I often cut off a small sliver of gel and massage it into my skin for 10 – 15 minutes as I’m sitting watching a movie or something. It’s true that it does have an immediate soothing, refreshing effect.
It is said that when used regularly, aloe vera can take 5 – 7 years off your appearance. Well it could be true! In my regular field of work I come into face to face contact with new clients almost daily and many are totally surprised when I tell them I’m rapidly approaching 50!
Burns, cuts and blisters
More uses for aloe vera : aside from cosmetic uses for aloe vera, it has also long been known for its healing properties and historically has been used effectively to treat burns, cuts, blisters, bites, sores and skin infections.
It’s considered a “natural band-aid” and in countries where it is widely grown is known as an inexpensive yet effective first-aid treatment for minor skin complaints.
Applying aloe vera gel directly to wounds helps both guard against infection and assists in the healing process by reducing inflammation and promoting the growth of new tissue. Its soothing effect relieves itching and swelling from stings and insect bites. The fresh gel nourishes the skin tissue directly and stimulates the production of new cells to speed up healing.
Pimples and Acne
I have also had amazing results using fresh aloe vera on pimples. Although I have to admit that in general my skin has always been pretty clear of spots and pimples, I’ve recently started getting them on my chin every month whenever my period’s due. I guess this is some kind of hormonal acne associated with the menopause.
Although I should have known better I couldn’t help but pick and squeeze at them and had a horrible spot on my chin for about 6 weeks until I had that “ahaa!” moment. A slice of fresh aloe vera rubbed onto the area one evening did the trick. The redness and swelling subsided overnight and by the following day the spot that had been bugging me for ages had virtually disappeared.
This is no doubt an example if its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties at work. Aloe vera is also said to kill off fungus and has the ability to fight off fungal infections. I’ll try it next time I have athlete’s foot or something and let you know the results. And don’t forget, fresh aloe vera can also be used to relieve sunburn. I’ve even read it can be used as a sun block – don’t take my word for this, but I for one will be trying it out next time I’m planning to spend a day outdoors.
How to use fresh aloe vera externally at home
I find the easiest way to apply the gel to my skin is to cut a section a couple of centimeters wide from the base of the leaf. I then cut across this transversely so I'm left with two pieces of leaf – each with one side the outer leaf skin and the other side the exposed gel. Leaving the skin on the gel makes it much easier to apply as it isn’t so slippery.
I use one piece at a time to rub on the affected spot and store the other in the refrigerator in a small, sealed plastic container to use in the next day or so.
Once you have started to cut into a fresh leaf, you will see that the exposed area begins to oxidize and discolor slightly. Simply slice this area off next time you are ready to use the leaf.
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